Sourdough by Robin Sloan


Lois Clary, a software engineer at a San Francisco robotics company, codes all day and collapses at night. When her favourite sandwich shop closes up, the owners leave her with the starter for their mouthwatering sourdough bread. Lois becomes the unlikely hero tasked to care for it, bake with it and keep this needy colony of microorganisms alive.  Soon she is baking loaves daily and taking them to the farmer's market, where an exclusive close-kn...

Details Sourdough

Release DateSep 5th, 2017
PublisherMCD Farrar, Straus and Giroux
GenreFiction, Magical Realism, Contemporary, Food and Drink, Food, Fantasy, Audiobook

Reviews Sourdough

  • Matthew
    This book was great! It is fun and quirky. I think you can read it either to find purpose and meaning, or just for a nice, quick read.I am definitely a Robin Sloan fan. I enjoyed Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore as well so I was looking forward to this one. While his stuff can be a bit out there (it definitely falls in the Magical Realism category), it is not so out there that it is hard to stay engaged. It is like he takes things from our normal...
  • Regan
    Very charming
  • karen
    oooh, goodreads choice awards semifinalist for best fiction! what will happen?this is the same kind of breezy good fun as the author’s debut, Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, but while that one was about computer-savvy booknerds having secret-society-based adventures in san francisco, this one is about computer-savvy FOODnerds having secret-society-based adventures in san francisco. so, totes different dynamic. that might sound like me having ...
  • Larry H
    I'm between 4 and 4.5 stars here. Well, now that we've gotten that out of the way...The above GIF probably clues you in on one of the reasons I requested this book from NetGalley the minute I saw it. (My obsessive love of carbs aside, I was a huge fan of Robin Sloan's last book, Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore—see my original review—so that had something to do with it, too!)Lois Clary is a software engineer who moves her life from Michigan t...
  • Elyse
    Living in Silicon Valley for many years - the Bay Area my entire life - Berkeley- Oakland- San Francisco - and San Jose.... I know many techie-self starters .... Startup companies is synonymous with Silicon Valley as Sourdough French Bread is synonymous with San Francisco. Mix it all together and Robin Sloan has written the ultimate startup-sourdough novel that could ‘only’ have taken place in the Bay Area. Software robotics developer - Lois ...
  • Lori
    Nutritive gel for dinner! People do this! That sounds like a futuristic overpopulated planet and dwindling resources scenario. At least, Soylent Green looked like it had texture and mouthfeel.Anyway, our young hero gets to eat something a lot better, than nutritive gel slurry. She becomes launched on an adventure in baking. It is all very cute and kind. Fluffy like the inside of the loaf. I didn’t get a lot out of it. It’s pleasant. Maybe, I...
  • Sean Gibson
    Two truisms: 1) You don’t want to stand behind an elephant after it eats spicy food; and2) It’s really hard to read a book called Sourdough and not want sourdough bread, especially when said book includes numerous scenes in which the main character is baking said deliciousness. Notwithstanding that constant distraction, what stands out most about Sourdough is Robin Sloan’s ability to marry technology and whimsy in a way that feels organic (...
  • Paromjit
    This is a quixotic and whimsical magical fantasy teeming with warmth, charm and quirky characters. Lois Clary is a software programmer lured from her home and comfortable job to move to San Francisco with a lucrative financial and benefits package offered by General Dexterity, a robotics company. There she finds she is expected to commit body and soul and every hour in search of cutting edge robotic arm improvements. This takes it toll on her lif...
  • Carol (Bookaria)
    This book is about a woman baking bread and how this process transforms her and her life. I know, sounds simple, right?Well, if you have baked bread you know there's a lot more to it than just putting the ingredients together. First, you have to understand that there is something different about baking sourdough bread, you have to have a "starter". (image source)A "starter" is a fermented combination of yeast, good bacteria, bread and water. Ge...
  • Rachel Hall
    A novel that begins with such promise as it opens with a witty look at office life for the employees of the pioneering San Francisco technology companies and the fortunes of newly recruited and blissfully naive Lois Clary ends up with author Robin Sloan overworking the dough. Stretching credibility in the second half, what starts as an engaging comedy focusing on a young robotics engineer descends into a convoluted fairytale whilst attempting to ...
  • PattyMacDotComma
    4.5★“She explained that a software sieve had scanned my résumé and flagged it as promising, and that she agreed with the computer’s assessment. Here’s a thing I believe about people my age: we are the children of Hogwarts, and more than anything, we just want to be sorted.”Like the author’s earlier Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, this book is a quirky bit of fantasy, science fiction, and fun, and I enjoyed it equally. Lois grew up...
  • Victoria
    I have come to believe that food is history of the deepest kind. Everything we eat tells a tale of ingenuity and creation, domination and justice--and does so more vividly than any other artifact, any other medium.I am a foodie. Not the annoying hoity toity variety, more that I subscribe to the live to eat versus eat to live motto. I love a sumptuous meal, skillfully prepared and artfully served; I also love an uncomplicated meal with simple ingr...
  • Debra
    Lois Clary is a software engineer writing codes for a San Francisco Robotic company. She notices a takeout menu and decides to make a purchase. It sure beats the "slurry" (nutritive gel packs) that she normally eats. Heck, she becomes Clement Street Soup and Sourdough’s “Number One eater” She then learns her favorite restaurant is closing and the two brothers who own it, leave her with the starter for their sourdough bread. This is not your...
  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    A sourdough starter opens the door to a mysterious underground world in near future San Francisco. Like most Sloan stories, this requires a healthy amount of suspending disbelief, but worth it. This was a very fun read, in fact I feel I should use the word "delightful." I want a spicy sandwich!Carb nerds.. malevolent bread... I feel like giggling again.Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy through Edelweiss.
  • Dianne
    Very entertaining, breezy and quirky! I love Robin Sloan's unique "brand" - a mishmash of bleeding edge technology, magical realism and nerdy eccentricity. Stir it all together and you have an adventure like no one else's!Lois Clary is a computer engineer specializing in robotics. She is lured from the Detroit auto industry to a cutting edge robotics firm in San Francisco where she works long stressful hours and subsists on a nutritive gel called...
  • Heather 'Bookables'
    I adored the first half of this book but the second half was, so odd.
  • Skyler Autumn
    3 Stars WARNING: Do not read this book on an empty stomach!This book is about the greatest of all foods, BREAD! OK it's not exactly about bread its about passion, creativity, fulfillment and not being afraid to take the road less travelled. This story revolves around Lois Clary a 20-something overworked underling at a robotics lab in San Francisco. Everyday she comes home mentally spent and completely drained collapsing into bed every night dread...
  • Kimber Silver
    The beginning of this book leans heavily toward robotics, and I found the use of parenthesis distracting at first. Even a techie such as I had a difficult time staying engaged, but around page thirty-six it got interesting. Lois Clary, a first-year programmer from Michigan, is wooed by a startup company out of San Francisco that manufactures robotic-arms. She accepts the job only to find herself working endless days with no time to make new frien...
  • da AL
    A difficult book to rate. Starts mouth-wateringly run-don't-walk to your nearest bakery charmingly versed, but woefully crumbles right at the end. The audiobook reader is phenom!
  • Paula W
    Real, actual thing that happened at family Thanksgiving 2017:Me: "Where's the iPad I got for Dad? I'm paying for network service on it so I know it is working even though your WiFi isn't."Mom: "Oh. Well. It wasn't acting right one day, it wouldn't even turn on, so he threw it away."Me: "He threw away an iPad? That cost me hundreds of dollars?!?!?!?! It probably just needed a good long charge or a software update."Mom, becoming rather indignant: "...
  • Donna
    Before you read this review, I need to issue a warning about this book. No, there aren’t any spoilers ahead. I just wanted to caution you to have plenty of freshly baked sourdough bread on hand because you’re going to crave the stuff like mad the moment you get into this story. Oh, the wonderful descriptions of the texture of the bread and its unusual crust, and the enticing aroma it emits, and the filling effect it has on the digestive syste...
  • Carolyn
    As you might expect from Robin Sloan author of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, this was a quirky, fun read with an offbeat plot and unusual characters. Lois Clary has taken the plunge and moved away from her family, her home and safe job to work as a software engineer for a robotics firm. Although the pay is great the hours are long and she has no energy left to cook or socialise. She exists on a nutrient mixture called Slurry (doesn't that sou...
  • Nicole D.
    The Recipe 1 part Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore formula (bookstore/font = Farmer's Market/sourdough starter) 1 Evil corporation which wants to ruin food1/2 glutinous plot 1/4 overt message 3/4 ridiculous denouement 1/8 tsp technology 8 trite caricatures Mix together and foist on unsuspecting lovers of Mr. Penumbra, collect proceeds. This book was so bad I'm angry. Sloan's first book was cute and fun because it was a surprise - this book was th...
  • Jennifer Blankfein
    Follow for reviews and recommendations. Sourdough by Robin Sloan is perfect blend of culinary secrets and technological experiments. Lois is a programmer who spends her endless days writing code and programming a robot arm. She resorts to drinking a Slurry (an unappealing nutritional concoction) for lunch during the day, and ordering delivery of spicy soup with delicious bread from a neighborhood hole in the ...
  • Cindy Burnett
    4.5 starsI absolutely loved this unique, beautiful, frequently hilarious, life-affirming book. I am a huge fan of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore and was thrilled to have the opportunity to read Robin Sloan’s new work early; thankfully, Sourdough does not disappoint. Lois Clary works incredibly long hours at a robotics company in San Francisco and almost nightly orders takeout from two brothers who operate a nearby neighborhood restaurant. T...
  • L.A. Starks
    While not a mystery or thriller, this shortm intensely readable book combines tech and food in San Francisco with a winning protagonist and her arc of development as she leaves Michigan, goes to work for a quite-credible arm robot company, and then one day is given sourdough starter from her favorite cooks, starter that has an unusual history. This novel captures perfectly the foodie and tech ethe or ethea of northern California.Much fun, great r...
  • Eryn✵
    3/5I have no idea what happened with Sourdough. One minute I’m sure I’m going to rate it four stars; the next, I’m contemplating two stars. In simpler words: This was shaky.The beginning, however, was pretty great. I enjoyed all the talk about sourdough and baking — I swear, reading this made my stomach growl. But then the writing and story started to drag (it’s all about work, work, robots, work, singing/magical bread, more work). I’...
  • Wanda
    I picked up this novel because I absolutely loved the author’s last offering, Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore. I won’t say that this book is completely different, because there are a few similarities, but don’t be expecting a clone of Penumbra if you choose to read it.Lois Clary is a charming main character—a software engineer at a demanding company in San Francisco, she comes to realize that she needs more in her life than code and li...
  • Myrna
    My first Robin Sloan book and it did not disappoint. It was delightful and fun with a dab of magical realism. Wish I had some sourdough bread right now!
  • Greg Zimmerman
    Whaaaaat is this book? Not even robots can save a book about bread being exactly as interesting as you'd expect a book about bread to be.